Harriet Kinnett enters the Chelmsford High School Alumni Association Hall of Fame as one of the most successful swimming coaches in Massachusetts. Coach Kinnett has led the Chelmsford Swimming Diving program for over 15 years and is still going strong. As her former Athletic Director states, Harriet is “the face of the Swimming and Diving program at Chelmsford High School. Her enthusiasm, energy and resourcefulness are visible in all of her interactions with her swimmers, colleagues and administrators.”
Coach Kinnett’s coaching accomplishments are impressive and well documented: Boston Herald Coach of the Year, Boston Globe Coach of the Year (4x’s), Lowell Sun Coach of the Year (10x’s), Merrimack Valley Coach of the Year (3x’s), and Eastern Massachusetts Coaches’ Association Coach of the Year. She is also active in many local, state, and national swimming associations and is currently a USA swimming referee.
Coach Kinnett’s current win-loss record of 208-25-3, along with the above awards is remarkable, but Harriet’s success goes beyond her accolades. When listening to comments from others, a common theme develops and it is apparent that Harriet’s influence is much greater than her records. A former swimmer noted, “Coach would always reflect the praise back to her athletes. A consistent advocate of her swimmers, she takes advantage of each opportunity to put her swimmers and divers in the spotlight.” Another relates that “Ms. Kinnett's impeccable record speaks for itself; however, her performance on the pool deck is what ultimately motivates her athletes. She truly is an amazing coach and mentor, and easily one of the best coaches I've ever had!” And another: “She goes out of her way to ensure she spends equal time with all of her athletes regardless of ability or experience and believes in investing in and developing them throughout their careers.” Lastly, “It is not because of her amazing record but because she makes all her swimmers, the gifted and the ordinary, feel extraordinary. She always sees the best in others and treats everyone on the team as the unique individuals that they are.”
An active community resident of Chelmsford, with her children attending and becoming outstanding swimmers at Chelmsford High School, Coach has been an inspiration for student athletes and coaches within the swimming community and well beyond. Harriet’s passion for the sport of swimming and her student-athletes is contagious. As a co-coach comments, “it is the life lessons of hard work and leadership that she has passed down to her athletes that will endure.”
Past, present, and future swimmers will remember how Coach Kinnett’s practices always begin “Girls, put your caps on!”
Congratulations, Coach Kinnett, welcome to the Chelmsford High School Alumni Association Hall of Fame, a well-deserved honor.